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Heres Why I Opted for Furniture Rental – Yahoo News

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My go-to conversation starter at parties is that in the last 10 years, Ive moved a total of 14 times. From Detroit to El Salvador, back to Michigan, then to California and Chicago, and around again. You could say that Im somewhat of a relocation expert. Most recently, I transported to New York, and in the five months that Ive been here, Ive already lived in two different Brooklyn apartments.

Although each move has been unique and challenging in its own right, New York City felt like a proper hazing. I dealt with a trifecta of infestations: Mice (which, to my dismay, I discovered while doing a video interview with singer Giveon), massive roaches that my landlord tried to convince me were water bugs, and the icing on my critter cakebed bugs. It was the latter that finally pushed me over the edge, and into my new, dreamy apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Pacing the empty living room of my former infested abode for the last time, I contemplated the recurring challenges I faced throughout my 14 moves: Spending countless hours vetting hundreds of apartments, the time and stress of packing and unpacking, dealing with disinterested real estate agents, and reacquainting myself to a new neighborhood, to name a few. But the thing I just couldnt get past was the maddening amount of time andmost maddeninglymoney I devoted to meticulously furnishing an apartment only to have to move or sell everything for half the price a year later.

Not only did my bank account end up destroyed as a result, but so did the world around me. Some of my things ended up in landfills, which according to the EPA, is the fate for 12.2 million tons of furniture in a single year, not including rugs and carpets (an additional 3.4 million tons).

A view of the rental furniture carefully placed in the authors living room.

About a week after moving into my new apartment, I was laying on a queen-sized air mattress in my empty bedroom and flipping through Instagram stories when a solution manifested through the apps ultra-invasive algorithm. Dont buy furniture, conjure it, the advertisement read in an italic, serif typeface. Curious about what exactly that meant, I tapped over to the companys page, where I saw countless posts of chic sofas and side tables, among other youthful pieces. The account belonged to Conjure, a one-year-old New York furniture rental company that curates pieces inspired by Manhattans chicest neighborhoods, like the East Village, Soho, and Tribeca.

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I was puzzled. Furniture rental? Ive rented enough apartments, cars, and clothing to last a lifetime, so why had I never before considered the idea of renting furniture? The more deeply I thought about it, the more brilliant the concept became. For a 20-something professional with no roots, it doesnt really make sense to continually pour money into new furniture that gets hauled from place to place. What if I got a new job in six months and have to move again? Or if I lost my job and had to move back home, would I have to pay for a stale, overpriced storage unit to hold my bed, coffee table, dresser, and chairs? Not if I rent it all.

At that point, I was basically sold, and I wasnt alone. According to Fact.MR, the U.S. furniture rental market is expected to reach $10 billion in sales by 2031, growing at 6.8% per year until then and doubling the growth rate from 2016 to 2020. In simpler terms, more people are gravitating toward furniture rental as a means to an end.

The average millennial moves 12 times before moving into their forever home, says Ilyse Kaplan, president and COO of Feather. I think that in a strange way, COVID has helped people realize that things dont need to be permanent. So for somebody who might be moving frequently [and] renting their apartment, it makes a lot of sense to rent your furniture.

A set of black cane cantilever style chairs at the dining table.

Ilyse says that Feather, a leader in the furniture rental world, is experiencing year-over-year growth across their markets. Unsurprisingly, theyve seen a 400% increase in home office demand, something that likely wont let up considering the increasing number of companies opting for permanent remote working arrangements. Another noteworthy area of growth that Ilyse points out is the 260% increase in demand for cozy things, which includes everything from comfy sofas to plush chairs. With people spending more time at home it makes sense, she says. They really just want it to be set up in a way that works for what their life is like today.

As I scrolled through Conjures website from the comfort of my slowly deflating air mattress, I was pleasantly surprised by the monthly costs of their furniture items. Renters can choose to take home pieces for anywhere from three months to a year, with the monthly cost fluctuating depending on the amount of time you plan to rent an item for. A full-size, minimal white bed frame would cost you $12 a month for a year, adding up to $144 total. The cost of Conjure delivering, assembling, and retrieving the furniture alone could cost the same price as the bed itself.

But if you only want the bed for three months, the cost inflates to $40 per month, totalling $120, which may not be worth it for everyone. After the year is up, customers have the option to buy out the furniture (which, admittedly, is an expensive option), have Conjure pick it up, or trade it for another item. Like with renting an apartment, Conjure performs a soft credit check before delivering your order. So if your score falls below 600, this option may not be for you.

After completing my order, Conjure delivered the pieces to me in less than a week. The two movers arrived on a rainy day, and despite my efforts to hurry back to Brooklyn from Midtown, they beat me to my apartment and graciously waited until I arrived. They gingerly and efficiently brought in my chairs, lamp, dresser, side table, bed frame, mattress, and mirror, all neatly packaged in cardboard boxes and plastic-wrapped.

The rental dresser in the author's bedroom.

As they unpacked the items one by one, I braced myself for what was inside. My standards werent too high, considering I knew the pieces had traveled from apartment to apartment. But to my delight, everything was clean and in pristine condition. As I scarfed down some tortellini, I watched the movers meticulously piece together every single item and place them in the spots that I requested. In the span of an hour, my blank canvas of an apartment became a home.

While I was impressed with all the pieces, I was a little unenthusiastic about the look of the tall dresser in my bedroom. After raising the concern with Conjure, they quickly arranged to swap it out with another dresser more fitting for the space. (Conjure will remove furniture you change your mind about within the first three days, free of charge. A swap out costs $99 flat.) Comment end The ability to have the piece picked up and my new dresser delivered and assembled at the click of a button felt priceless.

After a month with my rental furniture, I feel lighter knowing that I can switch up my apartment design anytime I want and, more importantly, I dont have to think about selling, moving, or storing any furniture whenever I decide to move again. Although the financial realities that have trapped many millennials (including myself) in a never-ending cycle of renting and after-pay arrangements arent pretty, at least our temporary cane cantilever chairs can be.

A side table with decorative objects.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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Heres Why I Opted for Furniture Rental - Yahoo News

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